Friday, April 24, 2009

Changing China

I was always amazed at the speed of progress in China. New buildings popped up overnight (at least it seemed that way if you weren't paying attention). The status quo was broken with every journey through the neighborhood.

On our trip through Xi'an in the summer of 2006 my father and I witnessed the changing city on a walk on the city wall. They were tearing down whole neighborhoods with sledgehammers--I never once saw a wrecking ball in China. I have no idea what they were going to replace the old buildings with. I'd like to think that they were replaced with something that appeared traditional, but I doubt that as most of the time the traditional was replaced with dull modern eyesores.

I suppose my hopes for seeing a resurgence in traditional architecture is just the artistic nostalgia talking. Maybe someday more cultures will modernize old designs to aesthetically appease people like me.


Anonymous said...

With all due respect, most chinese people are glad to be rid of the "traditional eyesore" with modern buildings. Perhaps the only people who wants old stuff are the foreigners who are sick of having new stuffs for their entire lives.

Matthew said...

I understand that many Chinese are happy to see something modern replacing the traditional structures--especially when there are many dilapidated older buildings. I've also met some who are disappointed at the sight of disappearing history.

Personally, I think the traditional buildings, not just in China, are much more artistically designed (I used China as an example because I have the photo). Unfortunately, those traditional buildings aren't as practical as newer ones. It would be nice to strike a balance between the artistic and practical elements of architecture.

This Ridiculous World said...

Why use a wrecking ball when you can hit yourself in the face with flying debris? They love those long handled sledgehammers. And explosives.